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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yoko Writes Her Name (Picture Book)



Released July 2008

www.hyperionbooksforchildren.com

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

Yoko was a Japanese kitty cat and was very pleased with her efforts to write her name. “I am so proud, my little snow flower!” said Yoko’s mother. When she got to school there were all kinds of different little animal children who were learning to write their names. Mrs. Jenkins thought that Yoko did a beautiful job with her name, but Sylvia and Olive thought her writing was nothing but scribbles. That kind of meanness would make any little girl want to cry!

Even when Yoko demonstrated her numbers on the blackboard, the girls still made fun of her, claiming she wouldn’t graduate school at all. “Those aren’t numbers. Those are just baby marks!” Things just seemed to go from bad to worse until Angelo said she had a secret language and wanted to learn it. Then things started to turn around when all the children suddenly wanted to learn their names in Japanese. Yoko might graduate after all.

This is a charming story that accentuates the fact that ‘differences’ aren’t necessarily a bad thing. On the upper corner of the right-hand page there is a small illustration and an English word below it. On the opposite page, there is its Japanese equivalent. This is a perfect classroom read aloud and discuss book. Can any of you write the word ‘hand’ in both English and Japanese?

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